The 2017 National Candle Association Conference Announces New Changes


WASHINGTON, DC - June 6, 2017 - Consumer candle safety and fair trade policies are top priorities for the National Candle Association (NCA), which hosted its 2017 Conference & Expo recently in St. Petersburg, FL. Nearly 400 industry professionals gathered for the association’s 43rd annual meeting and exposition.

Among the orders of business at the meeting was the election of the following directors and officers for the 2017-2018 fiscal year: Kathy LaVanier of Renegade Candles was elected NCA President, Bob Nelson of Yankee Candle will continue to serve as Vice President/President Elect, George Pappas II of Lumi-Lite Candle Company will resume his position as 1st Vice President, Tom Donnelly of Alene Candles will serve as 2nd Vice President, and Chris Rakyta of Candle-Lite Company will assume the role of Treasurer.

NCA also seized the occasion of the annual assembly to pay tribute to those whose work has made a significant contribution to the industry or community. NCA’s Hall of Fame Award was bestowed upon two deserving industry leaders in recognition of the lasting impact of their professional dedication: Jeb Head, president of Atkins & Pierce, a seventh generation family-owned company which has served as a supplier to candle makers for 200 years; and John Witham, head of research and development at Candle-Lite, an American candle company founded in 1840.

NCA also recognized ScentsAbility, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with special needs learn job skills and become independent through making and selling candles.

“Those of us in the US candle sector take great pride in our work and in advancing industry innovation while embracing the heritage of candle making in America,” said Kathy LaVanier, NCA president. “We’re delighted to recognize the achievements of Jeb Head and John Witham, two noted industry leaders, and we applaud the work of ScentsAbility for using candles to help individuals develop life-long skills.”

In addition to the leadership elections and awards, the NCA conference agenda included trend sessions, research presentations, board and committee meetings, and the annual business meeting. Association priorities for the coming year include its ongoing commitment to candle safety and consumer education about safe candle use, and sustaining fair trade policies to maintain a balanced and competitive market in the US for American candle companies.

GDA Staff | News & Commentary

Lenise Willis, editor in chief; Anne-Marie Earl, managing editor; Cammie Collier, art director; and Brianna Glenn, assistant editor, love reviewing new products for Gifts and Decorative Accessories . The team stays on top of the latest trends in bath and body, candles, gourmet items, stationery, home décor, fashion and more, and love chatting about their latest finds. Check in each week for more of their latest picks on GiftRap, and see more of the team on their new bi-weekly video series, Thoughts That Count.

Featured Video

  • The REAs Are Almost Here: Learn More About the Gift For Life Award Winner

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Gifts & Dec Direct
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.


GDA Cover July 2017

See the July 2017 issue of Gifts & Dec.  In this issue... Fashion forward, Repurpose That, Sumer Inventory for Fall Trends.  Plus: The importance of local fare and fair trade, Are customer still coloring and Tea (Towels) for two: The latest in gourmet gifts. Get details!